Every Friday we will share some ideas, that have been helpful for us to improve our family dynamic; hopefully you will find them edifying as well. The hope is that as you end a busy week and enter the weekend with your family that you can reflect on these ideas and connect as a family through them. If you ever come across something you think would be great to share, please share with us on our Contact Us page:
Three weeks ago, we posted an easy DIY craft for teacher appreciation, and we were really excited to see it featured as a most clicked on at a Pinterest party. The great twist to the DIY craft that I posted about is that it could also be thought of as a way to acknowledge the metaphorical seeds being planted in your child’s life via a family member such as a grandparent or aunt.
In doing this craft, I got to thinking about the seeds that I am planting as a mother. Ecclesiastes 11:6 talks about the vision of continuously and intentionally planting seeds; “Sow your seed in the morning, and don’t stop working until evening, since you don’t know which of your endeavors will do well, whether this one or that, or even if both will do equally well.”
Motherhood, just like planting a garden, can be very discouraging when you spend so much of yourself and your time into planting seeds, only to see a “drought” set you back, such as a birth of a new baby in the house and so less time with tending to older siblings, or to see some dirt/weeds trying to take hold; the influence of the secular world. It’s hard to see what harvest will be reaped from all your love and effort. For me, I try to think about what John C. Maxwell says, “Success each day should be judged by the seeds sown, not the harvest reaped.” The motherhood garden is truly a long-term process of laying out a foundation, being intentional of the seeds you are planting, nurturing, watching, constant attending to, teaching, loving, cultivating and so much more.
I have no idea what my kids will face in this ever growing world of technology and social division, just as I don’t know which seeds that I am planting, now, in them, will be the most fruitful. I just try to think of Ecclesiastes 11:6, and remind myself to be intentional about the seeds I am planting, because those seeds which we are planting right now, what we are focusing on, and pouring into is the life that you will breathe into for generation and subsequent generations.
What seeds are you planting?
Here are just a few seeds which I try to be intentional about weekly
Planting the seeds of hygiene, eating healthy, and developing a love for books and reading.
When I read to my children, introduce them to the value of libraries, feed and teach them healthy vs empty food, teaching them the importance and how to independently maintain good hygiene by brushing their teeth 2x a day, brushing their hair, bathing them, and putting on clean clothes, I’m teaching them how to respect and take care of their bodies, develop a love for books and reading and how to discern between healthy and empty food for eating healthy.
Planting the seeds of culture and ….; nourishing your mind and body
As I plan activities to craft, visit museums and parks, participate in sports, stay involved in the community, I’m showing my children that staying busy in activities that nourish our minds and body is rewarding.
Planting the seeds of family traditions
When my husband and mother-in-law spend two days making their German Christmas cookies with our boys helping, sing the same songs for Christmas Eve, make blarney stones and kiss them every St.Patrick’s Day, or every Easter make special egg ornaments and hang them up, we are planting the seeds of family traditions.
Planting the seeds of nourishing relationships
When we take the time to sit together and enjoy family time, to eat, play board games, pray together, go to church together, and take time to read God’s book. Also, once a week all throughout the summertime, we invite another family, or two, over to hang out by the pool, grill and swim. Even when the world tries to overbook us and keep us too busy, we tell the world that the planting of our family time is the most important so that we can harvest a family unity and relationship with God.
Planting the seeds of empathy
Teaching my boys empathy, to me, is one of the most important of all seeds to plant. It was a hard road in our home trying to teach our 2 yr old son to have empathy for his newborn twin brothers while simultaneously taking a back seat to being the star of the show and the only twinkle in mom and dad’s eye. Helping our son to be gentle with his brothers, love and accept his brothers as they grow into our family, but also learning to care and help his brothers is helping to teach him empathy. I have a lot more to say for planting seeds of empathy which will be following in upcoming posts.
Planting the seeds of hard work. Idle hands can cause problems…
When I let my kids help me load and unload the washing machine and dryer, it takes 5x longer. When I have my kids clean the floor with a broom, dustpan, hand-held vacuum cleaner, things do not get perfectly clean. Letting them help prepare meals takes twice as long and makes twice the mess, or carrying groceries in from the car can get interesting, but having my boys work alongside me as we accomplish chores helps teach hard work, how to do chores well, be self-sufficient and feel a sense of accomplishment
Planting your own seeds being harvested
It is so hard, at times, most of the time, to stay consistent with your seed planting and caring for (sowing), especially when you aren’t seeing results from your harvest. When my kids are throwing their food, not wanting to participate in family time, or just being a stubborn, unloving child showing fruit that looks more like apples than the seeds of oranges that I planted, I feel tempted to stop planting as many seeds or demand to see the correct harvest from the seeds that I have planted.
From these moments, I have learned that when we as mothers, fathers, and parents, plant seeds in our children, we are also planting seeds in ourselves such a patience, discipline, teaching, motherhood, character, time-management, change, selfishness, growth, and care taking. This takes a lot of work, time, and perseverance.
Think about the garden you are growing and maybe some different seeds you want to plant or weeding that you need to make. Make a list of what seeds you are planting in your children, in your family, and think about the harvest those seeds will help to sow. What seeds have been sown in you through parenthood? Are you planting what you want to reap in you and in your children? Have you thought about the fact that the seeds you are planting in your children today will still be produced and harvested in generations to come?